April 22, 2010 Subject:
good,but problems with the Intertitles
good film, Roscoe was sporting some respectable knife works and buster keaton's first film appearance is a must see. but the Intertitles are in french and the background changes from black to gray on some of them. while it isnt essential to be able to understand the text, it would be nice to be able to read them.
September 23, 2008 Subject:
So-so from Keaton and Arbuckle
Not Keaton's greatest, nor Arbuckle's. Theres some amusing gags in the general store, including some impressive knifework by Arbuckle. However the scene's in the girls' dormitory are just not as funny (except Arbuckle looks, as usual, completely ridiculous in drag).
April 27, 2008 Subject:
Lots of fun!
Yes, Buster's screen debut is wonderful, though he does look a little skinny. I especially like the subtle stuff he does, notably with Arbuckle during the molasses scene; and he also shows some of his best falls ever, both on the flat and down stairs (backwards and through people, no less!).
And yes, Buster not only throws a pie in this one, he also gets one in the face; though what "The Butcher Boy" is also famous for is those flour sacks he and two other actors caught with their faces. Ouch!!! In the 1980s documentary, "A Hard Act To Follow," Buster recalls Fatty telling him how to do the scene; Arbuckle told him not to think about it but just turn around and the sack would be there. It was.
It was a revelation to see Keaton with Al St. John, too -- I hadn't realized there were other very physical and rough'n'ready comedians back then. St. John was Arbuckle's nephew and maybe the similarity in styles helped Buster get in. It's interesting to compare their pratfalls -- St. John is good, but Buster does 'em like nbobody else. I'd like to see more of those three together.
In this short, Al St. John does his signature work with objects, like the bicycle, and he also does a flying belly skid across a table that Buster would later echo in "The Electric House."
The scene at the dining table is ugly. ROTFL!!! I did drop a star in the rating because the cards are in French -- I'd love to know what they were saying at the table.
Arbuckle does some fancy throwing and sight gags. In his memoirs Buster mentions talking with a man who had seen this short and decades later remembered Fatty putting on the fur coat before he went into the freezer. Now that's classic.
January 24, 2008 Subject:
Subtitles are in French
Chiefly memorable for the fact that it is Buster Keaton's first film, the great comic genius had an opportunity to show some of his atheletic abilities. This short is primarily about Fatty Arbuckle and his attempt to woo the fair Amanda. Fatty and Buster work at the same butcher shop and the first half of the film is located there. Amanda's favors are being sought by Fatty and a rival, Slim Snavely. Amanda pines for Fatty when she is whisked away to a girl's school, but Fatty and Slim are in hot pursuit. Dressed in female attire, they enroll in the same school, and are soon joined by Buster and another guy. The antics inside the school are pure slapstick, but in the end, as Fatty winks and strolls away toward the preacher's house, you know they are going to get married and live happily ever after.